Post a question to our forum, or search it for more tidbits and insight about Oahu.

Kono’s Cafe – My Favorite Place on the North Shore (Minus the Beach)

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Moving to the North Shore of Oahu for three months has been one of the most exhilarating times in my life. Living on such a beautiful beach has been amazing and learning to love the culture and the feel here has been equally amazing.

The thing about being in a new place for three months is you’re very much in between being a brand new local and being a tourist. You find the spots you love and end up frequenting them often, but you’re also open to the tourist traps and the “when in Rome” mentality allowing you to get the best of both worlds.

I came to the North Shore with one goal in mind: to write a memoir about my life.

Kono CafeI knew that even though some of the most beautiful beaches were just yards away, I’d have to buckle down and spend a good portion of time inside a coffee shop typing away on my MacBook. Luckily, I stumbled upon Kono’s Café, located on the front side of the North Shore Marketplace. Kono’s is amazing for about a million reasons, and is well worth a stop while on the North Shore (but it’s only open for breakfast and lunch).

Here are the things I love about Kono’s (in no particular order):

– The staff. They are amazing and friendly and appreciative of your business. (And like most of the North Shore, they work for and appreciate tips, so keep that in mind when you stop by.)

– Iced Vanilla Macadamia Nut Coffee. Hands down the VERY best coffee I’ve had anywhere. Plus, it’s only like $2.39 (and free refills!) unlike the $9.25 Venti Starbucks I had in town.

Kono Cafe Oahu– Fresh food. The menu options range from Macadamia Nut and Banana Belgian Waffles to Pig Sandwiches to the most amazing Veggie Avocado Wrap you’ve ever had and all of it is delicious, each and every time, and made to order.

– Branding. As a former marketing gal, I’m a sucker for good branding. They have this awesome surfing pig on their stuff, and also sell bumper stickers that read, “Slow Down, This Ain’t The Mainland,” which was a great reminder for this new lifestyle of mine. Also, if you get their surfing pig tattoo, which yes, sounds crazy, you’ll get 25% off for life.

– Location. Kono’s is located in Haleiwa town, which was the closest (and cutest) town near my studio on the North Shore, full of locals and tourists alike on any given day and super close to great waves in case you wanted to jump in. Kono’s is located quietly in the middle of Breakers Restaurant & Bar and Quiksilver – just look for the red door.

– Atmosphere. During my three months on the North Shore, I probably spent 75% of my days, at least a few hours each day, at one of the outside tables. They have free Wi-Fi (ask for the password) and the staff is friendly. Although it used to be an Internet café, it’s not really anymore, but was the perfect place to get online, write my book, and enjoy the best coffee EVER.

– Milkshakes. Like 20 different flavors, all delicious, all worth the calories.

Oh, and stay tuned for my book. Maybe they’ll even be selling copies in Kono’s one day.

Kono’s Café: 66-250 Kamehameha Hwy. Haleiwa, HI 96712

Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Be sure to follow Jayme’s travel and sports adventures on Twitter @jaymelamm.

Comment on this story:

What all the girls are saying:

  1. Susan minasian says:

    Well, All I can say is Kono’s pig bomber has to be about the best meal I have ever had. I am in my 60’s and have eaten about everywhere, including 4 star restaurants in major cities around the world, and I would put Kono’s above all of them. Not on,y is the North Shore fabulous and well worth a trip but Kono’s offered food that makes you want to be there.